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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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The last thing a dairyman wants is a barn full of birds that steal expensive feed, damage facilities and spread disease.

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More and more, we’re beginning to understand and appreciate the importance of cow cooling. It’s easy to see the effects of heat stress in your lactating herd; there will be a milkfat depression, milk yield will drop, cows will stand more often and for longer periods of time, and subsequently, lameness rates will increase.

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The health and productivity of any tracked machine starts with its undercarriage. Representing a significant portion of a piece of equipment’s purchase price, the undercarriage also represents a high percentage of a machine’s lifetime operating costs, so proper maintenance and operation practices are critical for protecting your equipment investment.

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Should I fix that aging tractor or piece of equipment or trade it (or scrap it) and purchase a new one? That has always been a daunting question and, in times of tight- to no-profit margins, that question takes on all kinds of new layers.

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Controlling energy costs on the farm is one way to reduce input costs. But turning off lights when a space isn’t being used just isn’t enough to make a big change in that monthly power bill.

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Not long ago, Kent Hoffman’s morning routine included milking 580 cows in a step-up parlor. Today, he watches an automated arm attach the units on his 40-stall robotic rotary.

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